The backgrounds are very colorful and detailed, although the scrolling is unusually choppy for an ST game. This is minor and does not detract from the game too much. The first level has a beautiful forest background, and in my opinion is better than the next level. The next level looks much like a stone castle or building. You have to scale walls on the interior of this building and dodge electric charges that intermittently block your path. The frustration level increases quite a bit from the first level. The enemies consist of some type of mine, missiles, personnel, robots, and some very annoying robot-like birds that swoop at you from front and back. You take enemy fire from both directions and will occasionally have to stop and turn around to attack your enemies. The sprites are sharp and detailed and the enemies come at you pretty fast.
As you move through the level, you collect energy icons to charge up your energy bar, which will be depleted pretty fast from all the enemy hits. There are two different energy icons--one for your regular character and another for a robot that you can turn into at the end of a level. You can cling to walls and climb ropes and jump to move around the levels. You can attack enemies with your sword, but if you stand still while pressing the fire button, you can shoot a gun for long range attacks. When you approach the end of a level, you turn into a big robot and you begin to use the robot's energy bar as your life energy. At the end of the first level, you have to shoot a large helicopter, which, unfortunately stays hidden off the screen most of the time. The game heats up quite a bit on the next level, as jumping, climbing and dodging become ever more hectic. You will surely be cursing those electric barriers, which seem to be the cause of most of the casualties.
Like most Capcom games I've played, I highly recommend this. Its combination of rich colorful graphics, fast tempo music, and robust control make this a must-have in your ST library.